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Mall series part 3: Back to the 80s… sort of.

Published July 24, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Although I can’t build a time machine I did the next best thing and snapped a picture of what clothing used to resemble during the late 80s/early 90s up until 1992 at the dawn of the grunge movement which was after my time.

I just had to return the size small black crop top because it was one of those annoying garments that kept creeping up whenever I breathed and I’d have to re-adjust it. I don’t mind my shirts to be a little bit on the snug side, but when buying new clothes from rue21 it pays to go one size up. I laughed when I glanced at the reason for my returned item: ‘changed mind’ on the sale’s receipt. I thought I said it was too small. Eh, either way it’s all good. 🙂

I had to get the freakin’ ray of sunshine tank top instead. They had one Def Leppard tank top in size large, but it was okay. If the store is out of them next time I can always go online.

The acid-washed Freedom Flex Jeggings I tried on were a size 0. The next size up was a 3/4 and they were too big. I like to try on Jeggings for proper fit long before I ever buy them. I don’t trust online size charts because they have been wrong. So, yours truly snapped a good ensemble and this would have been very typical, I’d say, almost a ‘must have’ teenage apparel when it was brand new back in the 80s and early 90s.

GnR tee and Jeggings 7-23-2016 rue21

Guns n’ Roses T-shirt and acid-washed Jeggings 7-23-2016

I don’t recall our rock t-shirts having a cracked distressed look about them fresh off the store racks. But these days this distressed look is in vogue as well. I don’t complain and here I stated I wasn’t a fan of Guns n’ Roses, yet I wind up coming across a Men’s size small tee of a GnR t-shirt with the Appetite for Destruction album cover depicted on the front. The image is intentionally made to look cracked and old. Now back in the day if you had a brand new rock t-shirt, then a teenager wanted it to look new for as long as possible. And the way to achieve this is to wash those rock t-shirts inside out and use something gentle like Wool-Lite laundry soap and in some cases, hand wash the rock shirt. Do not ever use bleach. I can’t stress this enough. I had ruined so many good articles throughout the years even when using bleach as instructed on the bottle. And nowadays what do our original rock t-shirts from back then look like now? Some are faded, others have snags, holes, stains, rips, etc. And there’s the dead stock vintage rock shirts which are astronomically over-priced even though they’re brand new, never worn.

Back in the old days a rock t-shirt from Hastings books, music and video would set a person back $20.00 pre-tax. Nowadays similar rock tees have gone down in price: $12.99, unless there’s a sale going on this may even cost less. The acid-washed Jeggings from rue21 will run about $19.99 per pair.

I mall-walked and heard a whistle of approval twice. However, when I looked, I didn’t see whoever it was and naturally assumed the person was whistling at someone else. I didn’t think there was anything special about what I pulled on today: jeans and a tank top and sneakers. I didn’t wear the heels nor open-toed sandals, but regretted not taking a light weight jacket. The mall is kept cold and it feels great coming in out of the summer heat. But after about thirty minutes, the chill will seep into one’s bones. And I waltzed by a pretzel place in the food court. Don’t tempt me. I am off of anything containing yeast and ‘enriched’ flour products since I’m highly allergic to both. But there was an advertisement for hot dog pretzel bites. Has anybody seen/ tried these? They look delicious, however, I don’t consume hot dogs anymore and haven’t for close to five years now. I didn’t pack my veggie or fruit snacks today so I waited to have supper when I got home.

If you ever happen to go to rue21 they have some awesome perfumes. I might like the scent of Rue Rocks and Candy Girl, but doubt I will ever spend $10 or even $13 for a small bottle and the chemicals—oh, man! If there’s ever a formula for these two scents I may have to create my own using essential oils and rubbing alcohol so I can steer clear of the harmful chemicals and that dreaded, “fragrance” ingredient that can translate to mean ‘anything potentially harmful’.

Rue21’s new perfume About a Girl I wasn’t a fan of, although it’s been their hottest seller by far and it just debuted a day or so ago. I’m more of an Exclamation (!) type of gal myself. It’s a classic perfume that debuted in 1987 and that’s the only chemically-questionable perfume I’ll use sparingly from time to time.

Ever wonder how to wear perfume? I guess there’s no right or wrong way. I always heard to dab some on your pulse points: underside of wrists, behind the earlobes, etc. And then I was later told you could also spray some in the air and then walk through it this way the scent clings to your clothes rather. It made sense and tried it like that. After a while though the scent dies off, at least for me, I don’t detect the perfume as strong. Makeup I don’t bother with it even though I did create my own face powder using corn starch and unsweetened cocoa powder. Go easy on the cocoa powder when mixing. I would have sifted this, but was too lazy to go the extra step, and for some awesome brown eye shadow I would likely use a little bit of cocoa powder and to set it, a smudge of coconut oil. I haven’t gotten around to making my own all natural lipstick shades yet. The farthest I’ve gotten was a soft pink lip gloss from crushed raspberries and strawberries mixed in with coconut oil.

As always thanks for liking, re-blogging, tweeting, commenting, sharing, etc. I always appreciate it a lot! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dead Mall series part 2: Try-ons and discounts: a customer’s perspective.

Published July 22, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

I tried on the last I’m a Freakin’ Ray of Sunshine tank top rue21 had in stock, but didn’t get it. It was piled under a mess of other picked through tanks. Straight ahead it looked like a mini-tornado deposited a mountain of new shoes off to one side of the discounted jewelry section.

In a place like the mall time slows down. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s the atmosphere and that outdated shopper’s muszak. It didn’t feel but more than a few minutes had passed, and as one would guess, a whole hour had went by.

$3 clearance racks: are they a good/ not so good deal? Depends what you’re specifically looking for. Maurice’s will forever be out of my league. I say this because I simply can’t and won’t ever justify spending $44 for one pair of Jeggings when I know I can find them for $3 or less elsewhere. I did try on two pairs at Maurice’s, but for some reason, they didn’t have that certain look nor feel about them, and unlike rue 21, there’s not a whole lot of savings. But I figured while I was here I may as well try on the ‘money’s no object’ astronomically-priced Jeggings. It came as no surprise I didn’t like the fabric of Maurice’s Jeggings (no offense). The material reminded me of a pair of cheap Wally World polyester leggings that I once had and later turned around and donated because they made my sensitive skin sweat and break out. Also, the material of the expensive Jeggings felt very inferior, almost as though if I looked at them wrong they’d fall apart. And the intentionally sewn on patches felt really cheap and too light weight to withstand a single laundering. I snapped one picture of the Jeggings and called it good. I returned the Jeggings to their rightful spots and folded them just as I’d seen them.

I’m a very particular and tidy customer. Perhaps most customers don’t go out of their way to fold and/ or hang clothes. That’s why store employees get paid to straighten up after customers. I also relate to the store employees that have a trillion different tasks that must be completed all at the same time in some cases. As a customer it doesn’t bother me to walk into a chaotic mall store where clothes resemble a teenager’s bedroom and everything’s in piles, new merchandise is in the process of being organized and hung up on hooks. Did I mention the mall is like an ice box, too? That’s not a bad thing in a heatwave, but good advice: wear tennis shoes and socks and take a light weight jacket if donning shorts and a tank top. Outside it was  very muggy so the air-conditioning was a welcome relief.

A few days ago I tried on a very cute black cut out lace crop top and there weren’t too many left in stock. If you ask for another size it’s whatever is already on the floor. Stuff gets re-arranged on a daily basis, pretty much. At first, I couldn’t find these black crop tops in their usual spot at rue 21. I gravitated to a rack of jeans and placed on top were the black crop tops folded over sandwiched in with the white tank tops. I found my size and compared it to the xs “I’m a Freakin’ Ray of Sunshine” tank. They were both adorable, but I thought in terms of pick out just one. I opted for the black crop top.

I really can’t stand the feel of rayon, but also tried on a cut out v-neck black top. I could already see a few problems with the v-neck rayon top not staying in place and constantly tugging on those cut out straps to adjust them would just annoy me. Rayon top went on the rack of rejected clothing even though it was discounted at $3. I found three pairs of discounted jeans. And even though one pair is missing the front fly button I plan to sew on an antique glass button and call it good. 🙂

What’s with all the holes in the knees and the shredded look? It seems to be in vogue nowadays and in all the mall stores the Jeggings and jeans look alike. However, the material differs greatly from store to store.

Won’t I get cold once winter hits? Nah. I have a few more normal jeans without the distressed look to them that I picked up for 29 cents when at the thrift store. I really need to get on the ball and sort through all of my clothes again that no longer fit and/ or that I no longer wear and donate them. I try to do this often whenever I buy a new article of clothing, then donate my gently used stuff.

It was super busy in rue 21 and I’ve come to the conclusion it’s a very popular store with young and old alike. And the deals are better than Old Navy, not that I’m bashing their clearance items, but a lot of their tops and jeans don’t fit petite customers. The extra small and small clearance section in Old Navy consisted of no more than two tank tops, one large sweater even though the garment tag stated size small, and then it jumped into the medium and large misplaced clothes. Everything was slim pickings in Old Navy. When I stepped into Old Navy it’s warm in that store that its unbearable after a few minutes and it reeks unpleasantly of lingering mildew which is gross. But the mall is quite old so perhaps it has a lot to do with the ventilation system not working right.

On my stroll I passed by a outdoor/running/ jogging store that was having a ‘going out of business’ sale. That’ll make store #4 that’s closed down in the mall. The empty retail space sits forlorn with no renters. Yet, there’s a Hobby shop that recently opened dedicated to airplanes, model trains and nothing else it seems like. I don’t expect them to do booming business and look for them to close their doors in about two months because there doesn’t seem to be any interest, for one. And two, everybody’s too caught up in their Pokemon-Go craze and other social media.

Texting, chatting on the cell phone, gazing at an iPad—it seems to take up half the food court. I packed my lunch and had a fruit salad and one Gala apple. I don’t dine at the mall anymore because all the pre-processed food will leave a person feeling hungry afterwards likely due to the MSG. However, the pizza looks good, but I stayed true to my ‘no diary’ and no cheese diet. That, and I’m allergic to yeast and enriched flour products anyway. And the city water is fluoridated, so naturally I packed my distilled water.

Nobody at the mall socializes in person anymore, or if they do, they’ll glance at their cell phones every two minutes, update their Facebook status, post a selfie, then forget what they were talking about. The only time I removed my cell phone was to take pictures for my dead mall/ fashion/ clothing blog series on here. I don’t do social media except when I’m at home and/or blogging, tweeting stuff out.

As always, thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, tweeting, commenting. I truly appreciate it. Stay tuned for more. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No point looking at life in the rearview mirror: part 1 of my dead mall series.

Published July 20, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1
Bling current fashion lep print komono and skinny jeans 7-19-2016

Editorial correction: kimono. Bling! store in mall.

“I finally look human,” was my thrilled reply while examining the sale’s associate’s finished results.

I was nearly moved to tears. The friendly Dillard’s sales associate at the makeup counter said I had a very nice, fair complexion after I told her I thought my tattoos looked terrible and how embarrassed I am by them. And for the first time in twenty-three years I felt like I was fifteen all over again before I made the lifetime mistake of inking my skin.

I gazed in amazement at my arm. I was so blown away by how the estee lauder double wear foundation makeup is very good, if not terrific. I had ventured into Dillard’s to find some Derma-Blend makeup, but was told to try Sephora in another city. Traveling long distance is out of the question. I have seen Derma-Blend sold on Amazon and I might have to order some. And another helpful Dillard’s employee recommended I try applying some red makeup over my tattoos first to hide the blue tone, then finish off with the skin-tone makeup.

I left Dillard’s feeling a boost of hope for the inexpensive route of hiding my hideous tattoos. Those that don’t me would likely think, “What’s the big deal? Everybody pretty much sports tattoos nowadays. It’s fashionable.” I will have to disagree. I view my tattoos as being one of those lifetime regrets.

I wouldn’t say I was a trend-setter back in my 80’s generation, per se, and I’m sure I wasn’t the first to have inked her skin at sixteen. I did it much to my parent’s dismay and worry. I didn’t have very many good role models aside from my straight-laced typical 80s parents throughout my teens to look up to. My older sister was the first to get a tattoo on her arm when she was a teenager and it made a bold statement. Perhaps a part of me was highly impressionable although she strongly advised me not to get a tattoo because I’d later regret it. She turned out to be right about that. I do regret mine.

And the therapy sessions I had at sixteen (per my request), turned out to be a nightmare and it was through my [then] new therapist they told me how to get a tattoo as a way to “Rebel against your parents,” Up until this point at sixteen I never dreamed to do that and now regret putting my parents through a lot of unnecessary grief.

Should-have, would-haves and could-haves… like my college instructor told me three years ago, life is too short and we shouldn’t live in the past since we can’t change it. And they’re right about that. All we can do is move on and live life to its fullest.

Was I rebellious at sixteen? Well, if you constitute spoofing my parent’s rules in a comic book as a form of being out of hand, then no. I did push the envelope growing up, but did so through my unique, mismatched fashion. I was a trend-setter in that regard. I liked to make outdated fashion statements, but was quiet most of the time. I wasn’t very out-spoken at sixteen. I took out my emotions through drawing or I’d wear the heavy metal bracelets and pair those with the most gaudy 70’s bell bottoms I could find in thrift stores. I wore something very similar to platform boots (the originals straight out of the 70s) that zipped up mid-calf and I bought a second-hand 60’s fringe hippie vest that I just loved. So I clashed with my fashion statements. If that’s the only terrible thing [pre-tattoos] I could have ever done to rebel against my parents, then it’s laughable by today’s standards and hardly worth a mention.

But for that moment standing there in Dillard’s I got a little teary-eyed seeing my skin clear for the first time, and this was a real self-esteem booster for me. I felt alive again like I was no longer tied to that dark chapter of my long gone teenage years.  I was impressed how well the sale’s associate did trying to match the colors with my fair skin tone using only dark makeup they had on hand in the store. I was very pleased seeing no hideous tattoos covering my arm. I did all my tattoos at sixteen under the wrong advice of one very misguided adult therapist, by the way.

At sixteen I had erroneously believed that all therapists were well-trained in their chosen field and knew how to reach teenagers and help them find healthier alternatives, like say, for example, temporary tattoos that wash off with soap and water. Needless to say that wasn’t even an option nor did it ever come up in any of my one-on-one therapy sessions. And I was proven very wrong about my [then] teenage assumptions about therapists and it only further solidified my distrust of adults around me growing up.

And for a brief time I had my nose pierced as a teenager. This is, until my dad’s grandmother saw it and asked me to promptly remove it. It simply shocked her and my intentions weren’t to do that since body piercings were relatively a new trend that was taking a slow hold by around…oh, I’d say, 1993 or thereabouts. I see it didn’t catch on until around 20o8 or so.

My nose piercing didn’t last long, thankfully. But what I would like to address is the possibility of having a deviated septum (nasal cavity damage) as a result of nose piercings and the inability to fight off colds. Speaking for myself I tended to come down with colds often when I had my nose piercing. Oh, yeah, and there’s a good chance it could become infected no matter how well the piercing is kept clean, which is another good reason why I took it out and let my nose heal.

I was amazed I made it into adulthood. And nowadays I would love to re-capture the good parts of my teen years since not all of them started off bad. (And wouldn’t we all want to re-live our good moments?) 🙂

If you made it to adulthood without doing drugs consider yourself among the lucky ones that made the right decision to just say no. Other than having been a transfer student most of my teen years, and moving around a lot back in the day, the adjustments were always rough on me. New town, new clique of school kids. Oh and did I mention, a massively large student body population at each new school? Yep, and then come in the bullies though they made up the average annoyances I had to put up with at school, minus the private and religious schools where I had thrived.

Now bullies of my generation were more of the “I pick on everybody!” type. They didn’t exclude the popular kids. And the popular kids were these very stuck up, aloof teenagers that would move to another table in the cafeteria just to ignore the unpopular kids (yours truly included). I had never seen this strange new social pecking order in any of the private and religious schools I had attended. It happened quite a bit in the public school systems. And I found making friends and maintaining friendships nearly impossible for me since my family moved around quite a bit which means I’d lose contact eventually.

I didn’t come from a military family. But wherever there was better pay, nicer neighborhoods and a chance at a better education, that’s where my family would re-locate, and believe me, being a transfer student comes with large amounts of stress that I was unprepared to deal with at sixteen. I was in all sense of the word, ‘lost’. I came from a very nice, one classroom religious school where the older students tutored the younger students when the teacher was busy only to be thrust back into public school for the umpteenth time. Arrg!

Public schools never worked for me. I wasn’t delinquent as a juvenile. I wasn’t a trouble maker. I didn’t sass back to the teachers. I didn’t skip school. I didn’t cheat on my homework. I had mountains of homework that took me from five in the evening until five that next morning to finish. I ran on maybe one hour of sleep on any given weekday. My hair and makeup were slapped together and most mornings I’d leave the house on an empty stomach and take my vitamins without breakfast just so I could make it to the bus stop on time. I looked strung out because I was exhausted. There’s such a thing as overworking oneself and that’s what I did to in order to make the grade. I guzzled soda like coffee back then. I still ate lunch and dinner and I skateboarded for entertainment, too.

I was held back here and there a few grades. And as I became older and the school kids were younger than me and this created a lot of friction. I had a studious attitude that was often misinterpreted as having a small chip on my small shoulders, when in fact, I wasn’t. I had very little patients for my younger peers immaturity and sarcasm and I take life very seriously.

Yet when I was in the religious schools, my grades improved by leaps and bounds, and I’d like to hope, my nature was relaxed and laid back. I got along great with the religious kids, no problems there. I was in familiar surroundings in those religious schools, I’d say much like the mall with their outdated floors, interiors, stores—maybe not so much the merchandise and music stores are a thing of the past just about.

And my biggest addiction growing up as a teenager has always been music. It was whatever the music industry cranked out: heavy metal, thrash and speed metal like Metallica and Anthrax I simply loved. Surprisingly, I was never a fan of Guns n’ Roses (or ‘GnR’ for short back in my day) because I felt Axl Rose was mean to make his fans wait two hours before the concert began, and he threw adult temper tantrums and would storm off the stage mid-set. Although, I did find that two of their songs grew on me, “Civil War” which was popular on the radio in 1990. I especially related well to actress Anne Ramsey’s intro: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate, and some men you just can’t reach.  So you get what we had here last week. Which is the way he wants it, well, he gets it. I don’t like this anymore than you do,”

And I liked the song “Used to love Her,” which my mother hated due to its questionable lyrics. It was actually about Axl’s dog. And neither me nor my older sister were allowed to have the Guns n’ Roses 1988 album Lies, Lies, Lies.I also liked two of [Glenn] Danzig’s songs: Twist of Cane and Mother. Those grew on me.

I did like two songs by Megadeth, “Symphony of Destruction” and “Hanger 18” which were popular on the radio in 1991. I didn’t discover Iron Maiden until I was fifteen and then stumbled upon their eary stuff which lead me to discover W.A.S.P. (another 80s heavy metal/ shock rock category band). I still have all of my original Iron Maiden and W.A.S.P. LP’s from the 1980s. And I was a huge Def Leppard fan, especially of their earlier stuff. Back in 1993 I never did find a copy of their 1982 song, “Me and my Wine”. I loved the video of this song so much and later was told it could be on their High and Dry album. Hey, that’s like, totally awesome, but which release? :/ The U.K. version or was it ever on the U.S. release? I have said LP and can’t find it. I managed to find it on youtube years later so that sufficed.

If it’s heavy metal, rock, hard rock, classic rock, 80s power ballads, then I enjoy it all pretty much and managed to find it on LP as well. And I also loved all those Ronco and K-Tel produced disco albums as a teenager. I have a few of them still. I didn’t buy into the “it’s the devil’s music,” that was strongly coming from the religious community back in the day and a lot of 80s parents were decrying the same thing, “It’s the devil’s music.” Yet, we’d have this tug-o-war power struggle going on: parents give a little, and their kids will take it a mile. And when we’ve reached this new millennium, our musicians are now veterans in their own right.

And growing up we weren’t joined at the hip with cell phones, texting devices, nor Facebook. I think that would have annoyed me as a teenager because I like actual in person chatting. As teenagers we hung out at the mall and made fun of the mall walkers. That’s something that’s a lost pastime; teenagers hanging out at the mall thanks in large part to those darn thug mobs that ruined it for this upcoming generation. Growing up cell phones (at least from what I remember them resembling) were likened to those satellite car phones that you might glimpse in a 70’s action movie and they looked like old-fashioned landline phones.

Any good deals on the sale racks? A few, but I mostly came for the purpose to price the makeup to cover my tattoos with. Old Navy has a large clearance section, but looks are deceiving. Their price differences aren’t much of a huge savings, but they do have some awesome wardrobe ideas. Now the skinny jeans and/ or jeggings I stumbled upon in Maurice’s and Bling! are way out of my league. I can’t justify these store’s prices. I believe from Maurice’s their jeggings were $34.99-42.00 for one pair. From Bling! a similar pair of distressed skinny jeans will cost around $42.00.

And they had a rayon leopard print kimono for $32.99. That’s an outrageous price I thought. It’s totally awesome on the mannequin in the store window, but looks like someone had just cut out a large bolt of fabric from Jo-Ann’s and draped it over the shoulders and didn’t bother to stitch it together correctly. Not complaining about the lack of shape or form of said kimono (shown in picture) because I realize they’re supposed to have a loose drape with that style, but it resembled an over-sized poncho in my eyes, and on me when I tried it on, I practically swam in it and it was a size small. It appeared to be one of those ‘one size fits all’ garments. I don’t believe I wasted the cell phone battery to snap a picture. I’m not much of a selfie person. What else did I see? I didn’t go to any other stores, but might pop into Books-a-Million and price their comic books. I still buy on occasion comic books. Superman was my favorite and so was Tales from the Crypt, which let’s face it, those were some creepy comics that were a throw back to the 1950s E.C.’s creepy comics that were re-issued in 1990. I had a whole stack of them and my parents threw them away because they felt like they were too graphic. Thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, tweeting, reading and commenting. I always appreciate it. Stay tuned for more dead mall series. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My rue 21 “mini”-haul

Published July 19, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Copy of tan or taupe high heel boot cage type 7-18-2016

It’s not a terribly big haul but I do believe this brings me up to thirty-one pairs of high heels now. To be honest I don’t know what to call these taupe-colored…sandals? Gladiator boots, high heels? (pictured). They remind me of a cowboy boot “heel” and a sandal since their open-toed. And maybe they fall into the chunky high heel “caged” category which are hugely popular right now. I bought the last three discounted pairs rue 21 had in stock and I’d like to thank the manager who went above and beyond and reserved the heels, faux black leather studded purse that was missing one stud so it was deeply discounted, along with a dress and one pair of earrings. I truly appreciate them doing that for me. 🙂

Do you ever carry a ‘want’ list in your purse and/ or wallet? I do. Do I ever come out of a store with exact said things on my list? Nine times out of ten, no because I find great deals that I change my mind about three or four times.

Is it taupe or “top”?

That’s a tongue twister for me to pronounce the word taupe when trying to describe a certain color of sandal or high heel. I’d always say “tan” or beige. But I’ve seen some people refer to the color as ‘taupe’. So, I bought two pairs of “taupe” open-toed heels and one pair in faux suede black with zippers.

cranberry high heel boot3 sideview

Now about this faux suede and the “man made” imported materials I found out is actually polyester, which for the price I don’t mind wearing on my feet and I don’t mind carrying a fringe faux suede purse either as long as it’s not a shirt, shorts, underwear, or a tank top smothering my body. I always double-check those garment tags before I try on clothes nowadays. Can’t escape the man-made imported footwear, but hopefully with care these high heel sandals/ boots will last me quite some time and I think they accentuate any outfit whether it be for summer or early fall.

And I found some feather hoop earrings for $2. These are awesome and I love that they don’t pull down on the earlobe like some other heavy hoop earrings do. These feather hoop earrings are semi-light weight and they pair well together with just about any outfit. I would have loved to buy a few more pairs but will wait until another time since I believe these to be a delicate earring so when wearing these, be gentle with them. Again,  a lot of the mass-produced inexpensive jewelry made nowadays isn’t sturdy. That can be said of necklaces which is why I only shopped rue 21 for a few necklaces last year. I still have the gold bangle bracelets I bought a year ago.

I came home with a stylish pair of pink framed aviator sunglasses. And on rue 21’s $3 sale rack I tried on and fell in love with a tiny cropped jean jacket that has intentional rips and shreds on the front. Why did this tiny jean jacket call to me? It was the last one on the half-price rack. Get it, try it on, take a “selfie”. Back my day we just called it “take a picture” since the term “selfie” is a new word for this millennium. Just like “Bestie” never existed in my day. We used to just say “best” friends and never abbreviated anything. Going to the mall has been a learning experience for me and I never fail to learn something new whether it’s a new term, word, phrase, etc. Let me state that I have not been living under a rock. I very seldom see and/ or hear these new millennium phrases used everyday. Yes, that makes me so ‘old school’. 😀

I do plan to revise my want list (again for the umpteenth time). When shopping for clothes: don’t go based on online descriptions like for example, if they say, “Model wears a size ¾,” or model wears a size 0 and don’t provide height or weight measurements, go to the nearest rue 21 and try on the garments. I found from past online shopping at home experiences eons ago that trying to base my size compared to a model is vague and impossible.  In fact, to avoid disappointments don’t compare your size to what the model wears. Always try on the garments. I was very fortunate enough there was plenty of sizes of the same garments that I tried on. Some rue 21 clothes will run very true to size, so I’d recommend going one size up if the garment has no stretch to it, especially if its all cotton shorts/jeans and/or jeggings.

I seem to gravitate to the new jeggings that rue 21 just rolled out. However, it’s not so much the $29.99 price that drives me away entirely, it’s the fabric’s rayon content. Rayon is a synthetic that is chemically produced, so it’s kind of like a strand of fiber, but still very much man made fake fabric. Other than that, I love the ripped and shredded jeggings at rue 21. My only small complaint is that some jeggings don’t have functioning front pockets, either. I like to carry pocket change and my shopping list on my person so I don’t have to dig through my purse to find either one of those items.

The “Premiere” brand skinny jeans that have patches on the legs and holes they rock, hands down! 🙂 I love them and am very happy with how they look and feel and the fabric content I believe is cotton/spandex blend. 😀 These skinny jeans will set a person back about $11 total and can be found on rue 21’s sale’s racks. My only complaint is the leg opening down the calf could have some more ‘give’, but I haven’t noticed too much uncomfortable calf pain nor numbness from wearing said jeans. Yet again, I haven’t worn them for long periods since its been oppressively hot outside.

Surprisingly this year I’m not a fan of rue 21 shorts. I was drawn to an orange pair of crocheted shorts, but when I seen they were made of polyester I put them back on the rack without even trying them on. That, and I don’t think I’d look all that cool in a pair of crocheted shorts. I am a fan of acid-washed denim since it was first popular back in the mid-1980s. But there’s something different about the new acid-washed articles. Sure, they look like the original acid-washed ‘kind of’, but…. nothing beats the 1980s acid-washed look. It looked fantastic when it was in style and still stands the test of time even nowadays.

But I had a difficult time finding jeggings in the acid-washed style or any kind of jeans that fall in that specific category. The t-shirts really didn’t appeal to me, yet the funniest t-shirt I saw on rue 21’s website stated, “I’m a freakin’ ball of sunshine!” with an image of a happy face. I couldn’t find that particular shirt in stock locally. I don’t know what it was about the phrase or the image that made me laugh. Another funny saying I saw on a tank top stated, “Suck it up, Buttercup” and that was from a year or two ago.

At first I didn’t think I’d find anything at rue 21, but as I looked around my mall a few times I simply couldn’t find any other store that appealed to me. I kept returning to rue 21 due to their reasonable prices and better selection of garments that do fit me quite well.

The most mind-numbing, beyond boring, and annoying store I ventured in…

was Ross. This is a copy cat of Marshall’s and basically what it is like rack after rack of shoddy made cheap garments where the sizing is never alike. For example, you could compare two size smalls together, and one of them will be barely held together at the seams. That, or the color and size will be way off the mark. And the prices at Ross are higher than in the other places. I’ve only been in Marshall’s one time and that was enough for me. They wanted $8 for a pair of skinny jeans with a broken fly zipper. Unless you’re a seamstress, good luck sewing in a new zipper. Most basic sewing machine’s can’t handle sewing in a zipper through heavy fabric like denim. And Marshall’s pricing was confusing and outrageous I thought. Suggested manufacture’s retail price was so high and Marshall’s prices weren’t much different, either I thought.

And please don’t get me started on Dress Barn next. Even though they were closed the time I went, I took one look at their dress forms in the windows and it was more cheap garments that appeared to be picked over from various chain stores and/ or returned merchandise that nobody wanted.

“I am so going back to rue 21,” I told myself. I wasn’t expecting to find anything special at rue 21, but wound up finding my next outfits for fall and winter for about $34.00. I did step into the Buckle and was amazed to see no more shredded jean jacket vests. I considered myself extremely lucky to purchase the two that I had when they had them. I don’t particularly shop at the Buckle because it’s extremely expensive. The prices turns me away almost instantly and they don’t have anything in stock in my size as far as jeans go. I still consider the Buckle to be a rich person’s store.

And Sears? Eh, that day I wore my strappy Qupid high heels I ventured in there and my stride was very slow over those buffed cracked old tile floors. Sears is washed up, a has been actually. They have no different sizes stocked in their shoe department and the prices of their footwear is horribly over-priced. I thought to myself I could go to K-Mart and get stocked up on three pairs of fashionable fall boots for about $20 and earn reward points. And Sears undergarments were very standard “one size fits all” that I didn’t see my size in on the racks and it looked very picked over. There was one person fielding phone calls and that was it.

I left and walked in those tiny high heels for a little bit, then went straight home to take them off. High heels can cause the tendons that run down your foot to become weak, and over time, ruin your feet completely. I don’t wear high heels for long periods of time or even everyday. If you plan to do a lot of mall walking be sure to wear tennis shoes or something very comfortable.

I loved the compliments I received that day don’t get me wrong about my Qupids, but if the same compliment is repeated to me over and over by the same young man then it just annoys me. I was told that the young man would have probably wanted to ask me out on a date with me wearing said high heels which made my legs appear taller and my feet extremely small. I suspected such, but young men don’t know what they want when they’re twenty-something. And an older woman might be more interested in finding a down to earth, relaxed mature older man close to her age anyway.

Thanks for liking, sharing, re-blogging, tweeting, commenting. As always I truly appreciate it a lot and special thanks goes out to all my new subscribers. 🙂 I will keep updated with any future fashion/ hauls as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Heels: pretty dangerous, but oh, so gorgeous!

Published July 13, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

I’ve lost count somewhere between twenty four and twenty seven pairs of high heels that I have bought over the span of a few years. This excludes my flat sandals/ flat heels. Throughout the years there have been some nice dress shoes I bought second hand and made a painful (and blistering) realization as to why the previous shoe owner donated a great looking pair of heels/ sandals /shoes.

 

I believe women have a right to own as many pairs of high heels, sandals, tennis shoes, flip flops (in my day we used to call them ‘thongs’) that she sees fit so long as she has a closet to store all of them. And mine? They’re stored away in shoe bags.

 

What’s a ball park average for say a pair of authentic Valentino stilettos? Well, if you’re a woman who’s beyond ridiculously high maintenance, then $1,000 (USD) for a pair of those original bad boys wouldn’t be an issue.

 

Now for the more *cough*, practical and seasoned shoe shopper that just happens to find a pair of Valentino knock-offs as a lucky thrift store find or perhaps does price-comparison shopping will tell you, sometimes the real deal doesn’t look or feel so sexy after all when comfort is concerned.

 

High heels are fairly standard wardrobe accessories for most women, although not all because others prefer flats as opposed to high heels. Men, don’t feel left out. Perhaps you can glean some gift-giving ideas for that special lady. And it never hurts to ask around, either.

 

It all began with a pair of open-toed high heels I purchased in a thrift store some number of years back. They’re a small size which is likely why nobody else bought them. They fit me nearly perfect. But why did I want to add high heels to my wardrobe when I seldom ever wear them? At least I never wore them daily and don’t plan to because I want to keep my feet and arches in good shape. Secondly, I don’t want to break an ankle while wearing them. And third, I want to keep them looking nice for those special occasions.

 

As a rule when thrift store shopping; if you happen upon a great find, and you’re in a financial position to do so, buy said item(s). Many times over I would happen upon a great find, and reason with myself that said items will still be there tomorrow. Well, in most of those instances the items sold in less than an hour the very same day.

 

I’ll never forget the time I was in the dressing room and my shopping cart was full, and I found a deal on one of those high brand mops with the twist handle so I wouldn’t have to wring out a mop by hand anymore. I thought $2 was a bargain considering these mops sell brand new for about $20… Anywho—I return to my cart and my mop is missing. Some random shopper had the gallbladder stones to snatch it out of my cart. Lesson learned the hard way: when thrift store shopping take somebody along with you to watch your cart contents while in the dressing room. I can’t count how many times shoppers will just take stuff out of other shopper’s carts all the time. If you’re a regular shopper of thrift stores always watch your thrift store hauls like a hawk.

 

I found some good high heels in thrift stores anywhere from .29 cents a pair up to $3. That’s the most I’d ever spend on a pair of high heels, or so I thought before I purchased three pairs of discounted new high heels from K-Mart. Now, I know what the reader might be thinking, “K-Mart? You’re kidding, right?” Nope. I had reward points that expired soon and wanted to use those. I detest Wally world with a passion for reasons I won’t get into and K-Mart has slightly better quality items and fashions. Plus I love the outdated look of K-Mart. It’s all about creature comforts and the layout hasn’t changed much over the decades, either. Whew! 🙂

 

Do I know who Jaclyn Smith is? No, but she broke off my toe nail today as I did a hobble to my vehicle after running errands. I might have spouted off how much I disliked her (brand) of high heel at first before I had a chance to appreciate the comfort level of said high heels. It’s not Jaclyn’s fault K-Mart only stocked one size of her high heels in the discount section and had no half sizes for slender footed women out there. The size I wound up purchasing do fit with ankle cushion inserts so my feet don’t slide and I haven’t experienced any further problems. And the other brand “Attractions” was out of the sleek black shinny “Zoey” high heel on K-Mart’s discount shoe section. The toe was slightly pointy not rounded and caught my eye instantly so that says something about the overall style.

I’m not trashing Jaclyn Smith’s heels nor that of her clothing line. Now some of her clothes do appeal to me. But I can’t find anything of hers that fits me. I mean it’s all very casual and still gives off a sense of “youthfulness” and class that is tailored to just about every woman of any age and income. But her clothes are very cookie cutter ‘one size fits all’ mass-produced a lot of the time.

Since I’ve made it to my weigh loss goal I now fall into the ‘hard to buy for’ petite/ misses category almost veering into a ‘late’ teenager wardrobe section, I sorted through my old jeans and donated all but one pair I saved for when I’m working. The skinny jeans are the way to go for me nowadays because unlike regular jeans, there’s not a massive amount of leg material that needs to either be hemmed or rolled up. I also like the tapered leg of the skinny jeans and jeggings although I always told myself (negatively that is something I really must break myself of), I’d never be able to ‘rock’ a pair of those skinny jeans/jeggings in my lifetime. And as it turns out I’ve been able to find my size without any problems and they fit comfortably, but some good advice when jeggings/ skinny jean shopping; what might fit you great in your average size, may not fit well at all in another brand, so always take the time to try on a few different sizes. I discovered this helpful advice online some number of years ago.

And for the longest time I did my homework when it comes to these impressive, beautiful, sexy, yet somewhat dangerous high heels and what colors go well with both skinny jeans, dresses, and/ or shorts. And the result?

Well, for starters, I pounded the pavement in a pair of chunky sandals that could pass for heels. I tried this because I knew I’d likely break an ankle in stilettos my first time out. Until a woman gets her stride down wearing a pair of those, it’s strongly encouraged to start small with either chunky heels and/or wedge shoes that have more range of stability. So, I started out small and don’t plan to make a career of walking in high heels on a daily basis because I found they are very hard on the arches, ball of the feet, back, legs, etc. Also, keep in mind those thin stilettos have to bare the brunt of a woman’s full body weight, so its no wonders our feet, arches and other parts ache and break after a long day at the office or being on the go.

Well, until you’ve mastered walking in high heels without doing the banana splits or breaking an ankle, practice, practice, practice! Practice walking at home in high heels, at least this was highly advisable by some high heel wearing pros on Youtube. And try to walk on all surfaces like hardwood floors, tile, carpet, grass is quite tricky and the heels just sink into the ground. Always use the handrails when walking up and down the stairs and take it very slow. One other helpful tip: take baby steps and its heel to toe. Your heel is suppose to go down first, then the ball of your foot. Your stride will be different and slowed down considerably in high heels as opposed to tennis shoes. And carry those emergency booties, ladies. I’ve seen these compact ‘shoes’ in Dollar General and really it does sound like good advice even if a woman doesn’t wear high heels. Never know when you might need a pair of them.

I have one little black dress that *sigh* is made of that nasty 100 percent polyester. Until I can find another dress similar in style to it in cotton and a little less “swim suit” feeling against my skin, I’ll hang onto it. I highly doubt I’ll ever don that plastic skin-tight garment anytime soon, (if ever), but it’s made by a company called “Taboo”. Don’t know the exact age of said black dress or if it was expensive. I bought it used.

What other shoe hauls other than Jaclyn Smith and Attraction from K-Mart did I find?

Let’s see here… (sorts through her shoe bags)… I have some Charlotte Russe which retail for $35 new. I bought all of mine used in ‘like new’ condition for about $4 a pair and sometimes at a discount for around $2.00 per pair. And I have some by Fioni and “Fioni Nights” which are a Payless Shoe store brand from my research and retail for about $18 new. They look sexy and sophisticated for being an inexpensive high heel. I even have a pair of Apt. 9 high heels in one size up than what I normally wear. But again, it was the color and style that appealed to me the most and they were a dollar at the thrift store.

I purchased all of my Finoni high heels for about $1-3 each from thrift stores. And there’s another brand I picked up, and even though they’re one size larger than what I usually wear, but when I seen them, I couldn’t put them down! I loved everything about those Antonio Melani high heels, a Dillard’s brand of high heel that retails between $35-109. I bought my pair second hand for $3. And even though it would take a few of those ankle cushion inserts to ever wear these beautiful high heels, I doubt I will because they’re just too ‘Cinderella’-ish to be an ‘everyday’ type of heel, I feel. That, and I have no exceptionally nice outfits or dresses beautiful enough that would compliment said expensive Antonio high heels. And then I have a pair of Gianni Bini high heels that retail for $69-98 at Dillard’s. I bought my pair for $3 second-hand. I plan to reserve those for special occasions and when I gain more practice walking in high heels.

I have some lesser expensive high heels that are a no-frills kind that likely came from a department store for under $10. But its finding these high heels in the right size that won’t make my feet slip or break off a toe nail that’s a challenge. I did see a pair of Fredrick’s of Hollyweird, err, “Hollywood” pair of French Maid/ Role play shoes for $4.99 used. I didn’t buy those because they were gigantic on my slender feet and just fell off. I have heard that Fredrick’s of Hollywood is a famous lingerie store in California. I’ve only seen maybe two other Fredrick’s of Hollywood lingerie pieces ever surface in thrift stores and it’s not often those stick around. And I’ve also seen a ton of Victoria’s Secret lingerie at thrift stores. Some good advice: leave those teddies alone. Don’t know who wore them before you and if lingerie is a ‘must have’, please, buy it brand new just for personal hygiene’s sake.

I have reasonably deducted that the high heels I keep coming across used must have been donated by a hooker or a trio of ladies of the night. I say this because coming across such fancy high heels (in used “excellent” condition in their boxes with hardly any signs of wear) isn’t all that common to find in my local thrift stores. I’ve seen the all-too-familiar ‘clubbing’ high heels that strippers wear. But those are usually a size 10 and up. What woman has feet that huge? I think to myself, however, my mother let me know the depressing mother-daughter fact of life that our feet grow and flatten as we get older. Thanks a lot. Now I can expect to have unattractive basketball player-sized feet when I get older. 😦

The ‘clubbing’/ exotic dancer high heels don’t stick around very long in the thrift stores. And it’s not often I do come across expensive (and well made) high heels used in my size, but I’ve come home with quite a shoe haul for dirt cheap.

My purpose of going to rue 21 yesterday was to look at their picked over selection of standard Valentino knock-off high heels. Now those gladiator sandals really don’t have any appeal to me and feel uncomfortable to try on. But the Valentino knock-offs I’ve read are worth it because sometimes they feel and look far better than the actual Italian-made, outrageously expensive high heel. And then I found the second of the last pair of Qupids that lace up and they were deeply discounted. It was a pity rue 21 only had one size of those lacy high heels in my size. I believe the next size up would run a little too big, but if they’re still there come pay day, I may have to pop in and check those out.

I keep finding Jessica Simpson high heels all the time in thrift stores, but they’re always in a size too big for me. Some of her styles I do like but wouldn’t ever pay full price for when new. Buying used high heels has taught me a lot about fashion as well. Now used sandals are another story. I’ve had to turn around and re-donate a few pairs of sandals that would blister my toes and ankles and they’d feel so uncomfortable on my feet that it was no wonders a thrift store couldn’t practically give them away for .29 cents. As always, thanks for reading, liking, sharing, tweeting, re-blogging, etc. I always appreciate it. 🙂

 

Benefits of Banana Peels.

Published May 28, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Banana-Peels

The benefits of a banana are amazing and I can’t say enough good things about bananas, in general. They taste great, are very high in potassium…

 

But what about that peel? Don’t throw it out, eat it! That’s if you want to. Yes, the banana peel is edible.

Now I don’t buy into the ‘landfill/ banana peels cause global warming’ debate that those are inherently evil for the environment when discarded in the trash here in the U.S., because, they aren’t. And whoever wrote that particular article claiming such, likely didn’t do their research  first or just cut/copied/ pasted something to their website, more than likely. Or… perhaps they don’t have a green thumb  and never stepped foot inside a garden, own a micro-mini farm, a compost heap, or so much try to be like the few out there that do manage to go off-grid and live a self-sustaining lifestyle.

My banana peels break down just fine in my compost and my rose bushes love them and they decompose rather fast, too. The banana peels will give back to the soil which is nutrients which in turn gives flowers and plant much needed food to survive and they make awesome compost! And you don’t have to shell out a lot of money for the bone meal and blood meal products that can be expensive and they don’t give as much in a tiny box.

 

But a lot of folks recommend either frying, baking or cooking the banana peel before it’s consumed to make the tough outer skin a little more easier to digest and soft.

 

What about pesticide residue on the banana peel, if it has any that is? Wash the banana peel and then soak it in a water bath would be my advice. I would refrain using tap water though. Tap water can have bacteria. I will always advocate steam-treated distilled water. That’s what I use to soak all of my fresh produce in. And if it’s a veggie, then it gets some Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar and regular apple cider vinegar.

 

Until recently though I’ve let my rose bushes have all the banana peels and other times they went straight into my compost pile. So long as it is non-meat and no fish it can go into the compost, so that was that or so I thought.

 

I recently tried rubbing a banana peel in my hair because there’s some benefits that will help to soften and give much needed nutrients to the hair follicle. It’s too soon for me to say whether or not I’ve noticed any difference as opposed to when I use the aloe vera leaf juice (that clear slimy stuff) that does make a noticeable difference in how my hair feels soft and becomes shiny. So I will keep an update on the banana peel hair care DIY.

 

Also, there’s even more benefits from a banana peel such as a natural tooth whitener. But this I discovered didn’t work for me, personally as great as the crushed fresh strawberry did to whiten my teeth naturally. Then of course you’ll have to follow-up with a regular brushing afterwards. And this natural tooth whitening should only be done once every two weeks or so I’ve heard, but not everyday as I’m sure it might be hard on the tooth enamel.

 

So, I did more reading on the edible banana peel. And I also did more research and now it’s off to see if these banana peels really do pack as much vitamins as one would need in their diet. Some folks claim banana peels will taste bitter if they’re not cooked, baked, or fried. I happen to be the rare few that do like some edible things to be tart and bitter tasting. Just how many vitamins does a banana peel contain? Let’s see here…

 

12 % of daily fiber.

 

17 % of vitamin C.

 

20 % of vitamin B-6.

 

12 % of potassium.

 

and…

 

8 % of magnesium.

 

And there’s plenty more benefits using banana peels than just eating them. They can help fight acne when applied to the skin. They can soften the skin and work wonders for the hair.

 

I tried rubbing a banana peel on my face, neck, and arms and it does make the skin soft. And if you’re one of those that suffers acne breakouts, (I don’t anymore now as an adult), rubbing a banana peel on the acne might be a healthier and more natural alternative as opposed to the expensive dermatologist prescribed acne creams and over the counter acne products.

 

I remember when I used to have bad teen acne and had to get a prescription (high strength) roll on acne medicine and it was the equivalent to 100 % rubbing alcohol. But whatever ingredients that acne stuff contained, did it ever like to burn my sensitive skin, yikes! I had to refrain from going out into the sun and exposing myself to UV rays after application anywhere from five to twenty minutes.

 

I don’t remember what the name of the prescription was called and this was before the days of Pro-Active acne treatment. All I do remember about the stuff is that it felt like my skin was burning off (like battery acid was applied to it) and it would turn red where the solution was applied on my face likely either a chemical burn and/or allergic reaction. And then, try to wash your face afterwards—forget that. My skin would be so raw that I could feel the heat radiating from it like a nasty sunburn, so it had me thoroughly convinced that prescription acne stuff was bad.

 

Thankfully my teen acne at the time wasn’t severe. It was bad, but tolerable and I still don’t believe that getting that prescription was the way to go. The over the counter acne stuff could only do so much. As a teen I never questioned, gave it a second thought or even so much glanced at all those chemicals and ingredients in all that pre-processed junk food I consumed like the occasional frozen pizzas, the pizza snacks, the soda pop which was probably by and large responsible for a lot of my teen acne due to its loads of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. And oh, yeah, the candy and greasy fried foods, can’t forget those. Mind you, I ate this whenever my parents stepped out for the night which wasn’t an every night deal.

 

Oh, and that prescription acne stuff worked wonders stripping away a label from a cassette tape. The acne stuff must have contained something very harsh in it since it stripped off entire labels in one application as well I found out when trying an experiment with it. And when I stumbled onto that weird discovery, I quit using said prescribed acne solution and returned again to using over the counter products instead, and did so sparingly so I could give my skin a chance to heal.

 

Had I known back then about all these wonderful, inexpensive, nearly all-natural home toner, face, and acne remedies you can get from fruit and other common healthy fresh produce I would have opted for that any day of the week than ever having subjected myself to some ‘god-only-knows’ what harmful chemicals were in that prescription solution of acne medicine in a roll-on bottle.

 

But when I was a teenager I didn’t have any decision-making whatsoever when it came to what I wanted to use and/ or try. It was often whatever my parents decided for me and that’s how it was going to be until I was eighteen and living on my own. However, I still argued and complained like any other teenager in my shoes might have done. Oh and everything had to be dramatic. Can’t forget that teenage drama, either. At least there was never a dull moment.

 

And what I love most now that I am an adult is that I can make my own decisions. Thanks for reading, commenting, re-blogging, tweeting, liking, sharing, etc. and to all my fellow bloggers and new followers, thank you! I truly appreciate it. 🙂

 

 

 

My homemade skincare/ hair care aloe vera lotion: a how-to guide with step-by-step pictures:

Published May 14, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

It will cost about a dollar or less for the aloe vera leaves depending on your geographical location, and if your supermarket stocks these huge leaves since they might likely be considered a ‘specialty’ item and hard to find/ purchase. I know before we got a new grocery store, I had no idea aloe vera leaves were sold fresh much less grown for their edible purposes as well. In fact, I had never seen a large aloe vera leaf in person until I popped into the new grocer to see what all the hubbub was about. And what I found was some very new and somewhat exotic edibles such as aloe vera and cactus leaves (when boiled cactus leaves are very similar to green beans and freeze well, too) which I’ll blog about here in a little bit in a separate post.

 

Before I spent any money on the aloe vera leaves, I did my research. I scoured youtube to see what others had to say about fresh aloe vera leaves. It turns out I learned of the many benefits of aloe vera and cactus leaves. I had seen whole cactus leaves being sold at some other grocers between $5-7 dollars and you only received two small cactus leaves that you had to then go to the trouble to de-thorn, slice, chop—essentially ‘prep’ the old-fashioned way. I watched several youtube videos on how to cut up a cactus leaf and the thorns fly everywhere even when using a plastic bag and scrapping them with a paring knife. Sounded like a potential whacking off a digit accident waiting to happen.

 

I did more research late at night while waiting for my [then working] off-balance washing machine to finish thrashing another load of laundry. After watching about ten ‘how to’ cut aloe vera leaves and boil cactus leaves youtube videos I decided to give both the aloe vera and cactus leaves a try.

 

Are the aloe vera leaves edible? Yes, the gooey clear gel is edible. However, if the slime is yellow this will act as nature’s laxative and it’s highly recommended to discard the yellow stuff. In small quantities the aloe vera leaf gel can be blended into smoothies, chopped up and frozen for later use for skin application and/or used in DIY olive, coconut, and argan oil hair mask treatments. I even found a use for the aloe vera leaf itself and like to cut it up, bag, label and freeze them for later use when dry shaving my legs or whenever I might need something quick and handy for rubbing on my skin or through my hair to make it soft. I usually run on a very erratic schedule, so yes, there’s going to be prep work involved which should take about 30-35 minutes and you’ll have to set aside time to cut the aloe vera leaves. I find that I can make this aloe vera gel last me about a month (conserving it that is) and stretching it with some steam-treated distilled water. Never use city tap water as that can contain bacteria and other nasties that can’t be filtered out in a city water treatment facility try as they might, plus if the city fluoridates their water or its hard water that’s really yucky!

 

“Make sure it’s steam-treated [distilled water], not the other kind,” That was sound advice from my dear dad a year ago. He’s been a health nut long before I was ever born.

 

Here’s the steps I use for making my homemade aloe vera lotion. Oh, and this must be kept in the fridge or else it will go rancid if sitting out since there’s no preservatives whatsoever when I make my aloe vera lotion.

aloe leaves for hair care

Step one: Wash the aloe vera leaf with some distilled water (never tap water) to give it a quick rinse. Drying the aloe vera leaf isn’t necessary unless you want to do this extra step.

aloe vera step2

Step two: Make sure you have a bowl or other container ready. I find that placing a bowl in the kitchen sink helps and I just scrape the gooey goodness into it from the cutting board. Use a serrated knife and a cutting board as well. Also, be extremely careful when slicing these aloe vera leaves. The gooey stuff is slimy and will be the consistency of egg yoke and it gets over everything and makes work surfaces and the knife you’re using very slippery. So, do exercise caution when cutting the aloe vera leaves with a sharp knife and take your time.

aloe vera step 3

Step three: I like to cut off the tip and end and discard those in my compost container that I plan to empty into my garden. Next, I slice downward to remove the prickly thorny sides of the aloe vera leaf. Sometimes they’ll yield a very tiny amount of clear gooey stuff and I’ll cut those into slices and place them in my freezer bag for later use. When I can help it I don’t like to discard a lot of stuff until I get as much use from it as humanly possible.

aloe vera step 4

Step four: Transfer the clear gooey stuff from the bowl and pour it into the blender. Blenders will vary and I like to start blending with the ice crushing option, then whip and puree. At this point the clear aloe vera gel should turn frothy and foamy. This is normal and the foam will settle. To make this stretch further I also pour in about half a cup of distilled water and blend it some more. Again, this will turn foamy and it will settle. I then make sure my aloe vera jar is handy and fill it. After screwing the cap on it I like to give the contents a good shake then place it in the fridge.

 

Shelf life of my homemade aloe vera lotion is about one week in the fridge. However, I’ve been able to make my aloe vera lotion last for about two weeks even a month if I’m conservative with it and haven’t noticed it going rancid in the fridge. And always whenever I remember I will pick up one or two aloe vera leaves and store them in my fridge until I need one this way I have a constant stock of them on hand. And look for the discounts. Sometime aloe vera leaves will be sold by the red tape bundle at a discount if they’re wilted. This I’ve discovered doesn’t matter much to me since I don’t use the wilted aloe vera leaves for smoothies. I use the wilted aloe vera leaves for my skin and hair care lotions. I use the good aloe vera leaves for the smoothies which I seldom make except once-in-a-while due to their cleansing/ detoxing properties.

aloe vera step 5

Step five: pour the aloe vera lotion in a glass jar. I have heard that plastic containers can leach out chemicals into food and drinks so I re-use a 10 ounce glass green olive jar for my homemade aloe vera lotion (pictured).

 

Hope this how-to tutorial helps for my fresh homemade aloe vera lotion. I never use any preservatives when making this. When it settles it will feel like a raw egg when applying it to the hair and skin. But no need to panic, the skin absorbs the aloe vera gel rather fast and leaves your skin feeling velvety smooth. Sometimes there might be some gel sediment that adheres to the skin and hair. I use a soft-bristle natural foot brush to whisk this from my skin and hair. When applied to the hair (a little bit goes a long way), wrap your hair in a silk or cotton scarf or any soft large light-weight material will do and keep it on for an hour, then remove the scarf and gently comb your fingers through your dry hair. Doing this step after you’ve washed and towel-dried your hair works great and makes your hair feel extremely soft and gives it some shine. I found this to be a huge relief since my area is hard water. And since I quit exposing my hair to all the fluoridated city water recently, I noticed my hair is not as limp, weighed down, greasy or unhealthy or ‘unwashed’ in appearance. Also, I don’t wash my hair daily into overkill like I once used to do years ago and saturate my poor hair strands to chemically-laden shampoos and conditioners (whatever was cheap at one time). I also re-use my fresh fruit/ fresh veggie distilled rinse water and make my own Camomile sun tea on occasion to give some high lights to my hair. Other times I keep a large pickle jar in the fridge filled with part distilled and bottled drinking water (supposedly non-fluoridated when I checked).

DO NOT use a plastic comb to brush out your hair when applying this aloe vera gel into your hair. Sometimes it will leave microscopic gel balls that can tangle the hair, so go easy when brushing your hair. This hair care process shouldn’t be rushed as I found out in my early trial and errors.

Recently, I’ve heard from many folks that strive to grow out their hair and keep it healthy advise to ditch the plastic hair brushes and combs completely, and if at all possible, do not wash your hair with city water unless you have a water purifier/ filtration system that can filter out heavy metals, contaminants and some traces of fluoride. Another hair care top: opt for boar hair bristle hair brushes/combs. And those are difficult to find unless they’re antique. I saw a ‘made in China’ boar hair shower brush at Big Lots a while back, but inset in the middle of it was a chunk of plastic as a faux loofah sponge. I’ll pass thank you very much even though I realize getting rid of all plastics out of my life is nearly impossible although little by little I am making snail pace strides to natural vegan materials as I can afford to do so.

When I need to brush my hair I use an itty bitty antique celluloid comb. The rest of the time I use my antique hair/ clothing brushes since they were made during the 1850’s/ 1900’s and have real hair bristles (not nylon even though it was produced back in this time frame). Since using the antique hair/ clothing brushes to brush my hair vs. using plastic hair brushes has made a huge difference. I haven’t dealt with many tangles when brushing my hair after it’s completely dry, that is. And I haven’t felt any knots or painful tangles in my hair either like I used to get often when using a plastic brush and comb. And I quit combing my hair while its still wet. This is when the hair is most fragile and elastic-like. It can snap, strands can fall out (often referred to hair fall out) when brushed wet, tangle and knot like it’s nobody’s business, and did I mention all of it painful if you have a sensitive scalp? It is.

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I’ll be posting some budget gourmet kitchen how-to goodies from how to grow your own celery on your kitchen window sill, drying your own spices from fresh store-bought/ patio-grown herbs, making cinnamon-flavored toothpicks, and my almost “sugar free” dessert. 😀